NEED TO KNOW
LOCATION Many connecting roads run from Marrakech, Morocco to Alexandria, Egypt, skirting the southern Mediterranean coast
VISITORS PER YEAR Fewer than 100 people make the full journey
Jan: 61°F (16°C); Apr: 73°F (23°C); Jul: 88°F (31°C); Oct: 82°F (28°C)
A journey along coastal North Africa is not for the faint of heart. On the other hand, this is one of the last great stretches of coastal highway that, outside of the major cities, is relatively free from commercialization and the less attractive side of 21st-century life. Surprisingly, considering the dry terrain, some of the world’s finest desert flora and fauna is to be found here too.
Along this route stretching for more than 1,800 miles (3,000 km) – only partly paved – you’ll see a variety of sights, from an occasional nomadic Bedouin caravan to grand French and Italian colonial villas to Roman ruins, such as the impressive Leptis Magna (see p45).
Getting There and Around You can fly into the major cities, several of which are connected by rail.
When to Go The winter months between Nov–Feb afford a little bit of protection against the sun, which can be relentlessly oppressive. If you visit during this period, you are likely to encounter some cooling rain as well.